Rebirth & Renewal of Nature Follows Easter Egg Hunt
Back on the 12th of April, my wife Patti & I, like many Media parents, took our two girls, Kailey (7) & Samantha (5) to the 60th Anniversary Great Media Easter Egg Hunt in Glen Providence Park. As soon as the signal to start was given, a wave of children spread out across the cordoned-off age-appropriate sections of the park. Like the Tom Cruise scene out of Far and Away, it was reminiscent of the mad rush of settlers moving west across our country in an attempt to claim the best homesteads. After much fun had been had and much chocolate acquired, we found ourselves making our way down to the pond at the bottom of the hill with the last stragglers of the morning’s festivities.
Here we would find our second Easter celebration, this one being orchestrated by nature. There was a Cacophony of animal sounds emanating from the eruption of life’s rebirth and renewal in and around the pond. The first thing we noticed was the deafening sounds of the frogs mating and searching for a mate; coming from all around. With contrasting language ranging from the most scientific descriptions to family friendly names & phrases such as “the mommy frogs” and “the daddy frogs” hugging, I somewhat uncomfortably explained to my innocent little girls that these “hugging frogs” where in the midst of creating new life in order to start making the tadpoles or “baby frogs” we would see later in the season.
As we watched the birds dart over and around the pond, one could clearly make out the numerous types of bird calls underneath the sounds of the frogs. Like the melody of a keyboard supporting the lead singer and guitarist of a 70s classic rock band, the sounds of children running and playing filled in behind. The panting and trotting of the occasional pet dog added to the depth of Nature‘s great performance.
In the backdrop you could see painted turtles, huge coy, sunnies, and even a giant snapping turtle. As I watched the children, including my own, scoop up and gather the frogs that weren’t hugging, I found myself torn between a sense that these creatures should be left in peace and the knowledge that this was almost exactly the same way I had come to appreciate nature and thereby learn to share in the responsibility of stewardship in regards to these great resources.
As this Easter afternoon marched on and we marched home muddied & tired, I felt a great renewal of an appreciation of nature within myself and also reveled in witnessing the rebirth of this appreciation within my girls.
Editor’s note: the frogs in question are American Toads, which are in the order Anura (frogs). So all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads.
Guest blogger Dylan Atkins is a Board Member of Friends of Glen Providence Park. See his photos of the Egg Hunt and the toads below!